Anthony Corrie has achieved a lot on the football field.
56 AFL games, U18 All-Australian and Harrison Medalist, NEAFL Player, South Queensland representative, Kenmore player and under 17 coach.
But it’s his work off it that is making the biggest impression.
His time in the AFL system not only matured him as a player, but a person as well.
After 53 games for the Brisbane Lions, and three for Collingwood, Corrie left the AFL system wanting to give back to Indigenous community.
It started by working with Indigenous children within schools, providing them with business skills to take with them once they finished.
Now, he’s working with these children to take the next step in life.
“I’ve stepped up the ladder a little bit and am looking after apprenticeships and employment, so I’m trying to help with tension within the workplace for Indigenous Australians,” Corrie said.
For Corrie, it’s about opening the lines of communication between the employee, and employer.
“Make sure you dig in deep and sit with them and talk to them. It works both ways, and that’s what I’m trying to work on at the moment,” he said.
“If the employer is having trouble, making sure they communicate to the Indigenous guy and if the Indigenous guy is having problems at home they’re communicating that back.
“It’s sort of making sure they have that open communication and build a trust and respect for one another.”
Corrie has noticed a shift in recent years about the perception of the Indigenous, and it’s events like Indigenous Round that are helping.
“Yeah there are some out there, especially the employer, that are really caring, and they look after or they want the best for the Indigenous guy,” Corrie said.
“There’s some that just don’t want to come to the party. Not just the employer but also the Indigenous guy as well when they sort of use the cliché excuses.
“I think AFL does do it really well in regards to committing themselves to call it a round, and acknowledging the dreamtime at the ‘G’ as well.
“It’s something that Indigenous fella looks forward to play. It also highlights what Indigenous people bring to the game in regards to the talent and the freakiness.”
On a personal level, Corrie is preparing himself for next weekend’s South Queensland vs. North Queensland match, which is part of the State Representative Carnival at Burpengary on Sunday.
It will be the Kenmore player’s second year pulling on the South Queensland jumper.
“It’s good fun, I really enjoyed last year, just playing with guys that you play against on a regular basis week-in week-out, and getting to know them personally,” he said.
“It’s a great incentive for guys who are coming through sort of at the junior level and go ‘ahh ok that’s a guy I want to play’ or ‘that’s the dream that I want play for Queensland.”
Having gone down by less than a kick in last year’s contest, they will be out for redemption this year.
“It was a bit disappointing last year, so with the group we have we should be primed to go and I look forward to the challenge again,” Corrie said.
While playing, Corrie did some good work on the field, now he is doing it off it.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles